When Barbara George's friend and colleague in the media business was diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer 11 years ago, George volunteered to help her figure out her next steps. But what they did not find surprised them.
"We thought, here we are as marketers and we're having trouble finding needed resources in our community. What difficulties might others also be having?" says George of Kansas City, Mo. "We were looking for resources - like wig shops, local support groups and even local physicians - but finding them was proving to be time-consuming and unsuccessful. It was really frustrating."
The two women started researching local resources for people living with cancer. They felt strongly that a comprehensive, local resource guide filled with cancer information for the newly diagnosed could truly help others on their cancer journey. They collaborated with George's friend's doctor at the University of Kansas Cancer Center to make this a reality.
In 2001, George created Cancer Matters, a grassroots, community-based initiative, aimed at tackling this information gap that faced individuals living with cancer and their loved ones. She developed the Cancer Matters Resource Guides, free booklets featuring a comprehensive listing of local cancer-related businesses and services. Resources include cancer support groups, hospital services, home health and more. They also provide tips for the newly diagnosed and information on health and wellness.
"The beauty of these guides is that they are local, comprehensive and were developed by someone who has walked in your shoes," says George. "I am hopeful that in the future, we can bring Cancer Matters to all cities across the nation."
These comprehensive resource guides are available in 35 U.S. cities. The guides are updated and distributed annually to local hospitals, physician's offices, nonprofit organizations and support groups. They are also available online at CancerMatters.com. Cancer Matters is supported by Lilly Oncology. Lilly Oncology does not control the content of the resource guides or website.
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